Clever Tips for Removing Water From a Jet Ski’s Footwells

You know what’s funny? The amount of water a footwell can hold is something that often catches owners by surprise after they’ve had their watercraft for a while.

You’d think it should be straightforward, right? Ideally, manufacturers would have figured out a way to keep those footwells bone-dry. But, well, it’s not as simple as it appears. The footwells tend to hold on to water, which can be a real nuisance. It’s not just about annoyance, though… it can lead to bug problems and even cause fiberglass blister damage to your awesome watercraft. Plus, it makes it harder to keep your craft clean.

That’s why I’m here in this post – to spill the beans on the effective ways to get that unwanted water out of your footwells and, more importantly, preventing it coming back. So, let’s dive in and keep those footwells dry and bug-free!


The footwells of your watercraft is where your feet rest, but due to its design, it acts a giant bucket that collects water.

It’s rainwater that often collects in the footwells of most PWCs, and it attracts bugs like mosquitos. It also blisters the fiberglass and traps mold that damages your cover and seats.

You can also get a “slime build up” if the water sits for too long, which is slippery, especially if you get it on your feet.

The Many Ways To Get The water Out!

There are several ways to get water out of the footwells of your PWC, here is a list of the best ways:

1. Transfer Pump

As covered in my post about the best gas can, I mention a fuel transfer pump (Amazon Link Ad) and the usefulness they deliver. You can get another one that you only use to get water out of your footwells.

2. Milwaukee Cordless Stick Transfer Pump

Just like the fuel transfer pump discussed above, Milwaukee (and others) make a stick that does the same thing but uses their battery packs!

The Milwaukee Cordless Stick Transfer Pump (Amazon Link Ad) is the most helpful, especially if you’re in the Milwaukee battery lineup. We really need these things to become more mainstream as it’s amazingly useful!!!

3. Garden Hose

If you have a garden hose at your dock, you can use the water-pressure to push the gunk out of your footwells. If you do have a garden hose, it’s handy for flushing the engine.

This was the most common way I would get water out of footwells when cleaning a jet ski.

The water-pressure for most homes is enough to get the water out, or at least rinse it enough that you dilute the water and is less messy to wipe up. A pressure washer does work better, but not always needed!

4. Tilt It Back On The Trailer

If the PWC is on a trailer, the fastest way to get water out of your footwells is to tilt the trailer back.

You need to be careful, I’ve busted my lip with a trailer smacking me, and the trailer being heavier than usual due to the water.

Using a cinder block, I like to lift the trailer up and put the front tongue jack on the cinder block and let the water drain out. This is often my first step before cleaning a waverunner.

5. Hook It Up To Your Truck

You can hook the jet ski up to your truck and start to take off, any water in the footwells will come flowing out.

Just be cautious of where the water is dumping. (Some people might not like you dumping it on their car if at the stop light if you manage that.)

6. Go For A Ride

To get water out of the footwells of your jet ski when on the dock or in the water, it’s just easier to go for a quick ride!

Go out of the no-wake zone and hit the throttle, any water in the footwells will rush out the back. You may have to hover your feet or rest them above the footwells, but it’s a quick way to get water out of the footwells.

7. Shop Vacuum

Similar to a transfer pump, you can also use a shop vacuum to suck up the water in the footwells.

I’m NOT a huge fan of the shop vacuum if you have a lot of water. And if it’s not a battery-powered shop vacuum, it’s just not convenient. (Plus, you got to dump the water out the vacuum container, it’s just a mess)

Though, if I’m detailing jet skis, I will use a shop vacuum to suck up the little water as nothing else works as well for small detailed jobs. Well, soaking it up with a rag and ringing the rag works, just more slowly

8. Use A Rag?

Sometimes, using a rag or sponge is the best way to get water out of your jet ski’s footwells.

Just cup it with your hand, and swoosh it out!

It’s not the easiest or cleanest, but with the right rhythm, you’ll be done in no time as pointed out in this video.

You can use a paddle or a small broom, so you don’t have to get your hands wet. It’s honestly not as bad as people may think, it’s not the most fun, but it’s always been a go-to of mine if I’m in a rush.

9. Shaker Siphon!

One option that doesn’t require any power is to use a shaker siphon.

You put one end in the water, the other lower than the water, and shake the part that is in the water, and it starts to siphon. You only shake it a few times to get it started, and then gravity does the rest.

10. Toy Soaker

You can use a toy soaker (Amazon Link Ad) that pumps the water up, and you shoot it else where.

It will take longer, but it’s going to be the most fun out of all the options. The water is often gross, so not a huge win of an idea, but fun if you want something to play with.

Footwell Drains

Why don’t they put a drain in the footwells for the water to flow out?

Well, they do!

Yamaha has it on a lot of their waverunners.

A footwell drain is a great idea, so why don’t all jet skis have it?

The reason footwell drains have not taken off is that they clog easily, even the ones Yamaha has on many of their models. The drain hose is large, but the rubber piece at the start in the footwell has small holes and the slight bit of debris can clog it. You can’t have too large of holes because people’s toes could get trapped and that is a whole new mess.

This is not as big of a problem for boats, as they simply drain into the bilge and the bilge pump sucks the extra water out. Jet skis don’t come with bilges, at least it’s not common.

Keeping Water Out!

The best way to keep water out of the foot wells of your jet ski is to keep the cover on them.

Most often, it’s rainwater that fills the footwells of jet skis, and keeping a cover on your jet skis keeps a lot of the water out.

You won’t keep all the water out of the footwells, but removing a cup or two of water is easier than dealing with gallons of water.

Capillary Action

I’ve left capillary action for last because people think I’m crazy for talking about it, but under the correct conditions it works to keep water out of your footwells.

Capillary action is like magic, water goes up against gravity and falls down. It’s how trees get water to the tree-top, and it’s a real thing you can use to drain water out of the footwells.

Using a long towel or chamois (Amazon Link Ad), drape it over the footwell. For it to work correctly, the end of the towel not in the watercraft needs to sit much lower than the lowest point of the footwell.

To demonstrate it, I filled a bucket full of water, draped a chamois over it with one end touching the water.

The other end of the chamois is hanging lower than the bucket of water’s lowest point.

The water in the bucket, or your jet ski’s footwell, starts to soak into the towel and travel up. Once fully soaked, and the towel’s other end sitting lower than the water, gravity takes over and forces the water out, and it slowly drips the water out of your footwell.

It’s a slow process, but it’s automatic and extremely simple. You will need to replace the towel often as it gets dirty, but under the right conditions it works quite well. You can test it yourself with a bucket, like I’ve done, to see if it’s worth the effort.

This, combined with a cover, is the simplest way I’ve found to keep water out of the footwells of jet skis.



I started working at a power sports dealership in 2007, I worked in parts, service counter, and as a technician before moving to sales in 2013. I created in 2014 to answer common watercraft questions I would get from people. Now managing the site full-time, I continue to provide advice and web tools for my readers about watercraft. I've owned several watercraft, with a Sea-Doo Spark as my current main PWC.

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